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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family Home Evening 9/17/12

Monday night Jared took Valerie, Tucker, Kerri, Dustin, Libby, and Toby up to the ranch for family home evening.  The goal was to go up and water the new grass that was planted.  We also had an amazing dinner which Kerri prepared.  We had shredded BBQ Chicken sandwiches with cantalope and grapes along with a delicious pasta salad which Valerie made.  On our way up we made our traditional stop at Gas 'n' Go on old Highway 89 to get drinks.  When we got up there we could not believe how amazing the colors of the leaves were.  They were all a vibrant red color and mixed in with the remaining green trees it made for quite the dinner view.  We were able to water the the grass seed, which has not sprouted yet but the seeds are swelling which means it is close.  Hopefully by the end of the month we will see some growth.  We also walked around the fences around the fields to check where we needed to repair any breaks and also make sure all of the gates were closed, all of them were closed.  All in all, it was a very nice family home evening.  The summer has come and gone and fall now leaves us with shorter days so try to get up there soon to catch the amazing colors and experience everything before all of the leaves turn yellow. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

8/27/12 with Valerie's Family at the Ranch

Valerie took all of her siblings up to the ranch to show them the ranch.  She has never had the opportunity to take them up there but did and had an excellent tour of the property and then had a fantastic dutch oven dinner of potatoes and chicken with a peach cobbler dessert.  Very fun evening and wish we could have more of them.


Tucker Emptying the Dam

Trailer pad with grass seed, a new bench, and a nearly empty pond

This weekend Jared and his family spent the weekend at the ranch again.  There was a very clear goal to finish a large area where Jared can park his trailer and have a couple other tents to camp out where it can be level and have a little bit of grass.  We were able to finish the last portion of the retaining wall, which looks very nice.  The entire area is level and just has a slight slope towards the South to allow water to drain that way.  We also planted a Tall Fiscue grass seed there and we watered it quite heavely during the few days we were there.  We also planted that same seed on the field above the pavilion and we hope it will grow this time, it never took in the spring due to how hot and dry this year has been. 

Per Valerie's request, we built a very nice bench looking over the fields to the ranch.  It is made out of an old power pole from Springville.  The bench itself is perfectly level but the back rest is a little uneven, it still works great though.

Right before dinner we were sitting around talking about how to get the upper field of new grass seed some water.  We know we have plenty of water in the dam to do it we just have no way to move it down to the field right now.  We know we need to fix the dam and get it a little safer before we can start to work on the project of getting the water out of the dam.  We all grabbed shovels and picks and headed up to see if we could do any work by hand (it costs a lot of money to get any construction equipemnt up there to work on it).  We surveyed the area and then decided we need to empy all of the water in the dam so there is not any additional damage this winter and spring to the remaining dirt holding back the water.  Tucker was the brave volunteer to dive in and figure out how to unplug the pipe.  He jumped in the water and found that the pipe was clogged with an old pot, it was pretty funny.  He easily pulled it off and then it took just about an hour for the entire water to be drained.  Our plan is to now fill in some of the dirt by shovel or with small equipment we can borrow and then fix the spillway/overflow section.  We will need some supplies.  We need a couple shut off valves and some 4" or 6" pipe, whichever we can get our hands on.  Let Jared or Eric know if you know of anywhere we can get it for cheap or even someone throwing it away. 

Tucker finding the pipe in the pond
Nearly Empty Pond
It was a great weekend and we all enjoyed ourselves.  It was nice to know that we had an issue and we just took care of it.  We are on our way to greatly improving the property and making it more useable for everyone.  Jared and a few others will be going up Thursday evening if anyone else wants to join just let us know.
Also, if you go to the ranch let Jared know so he can get you a key to get into the main fields.  Also we caught someone taking some items off of the property which we plan on using and so if you see anything strange going on while you are there let Jared and Eric know about it. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day 2012

One of the best ways to spend Labor Day is to go to The Ranch.  This is a tradition I have had to opportunity to participate in for the past 5 years, since I have been in the family.  It is an amazing time of year as the leaves are beginning to change color and the temperature begins to be a little more comfortable.

Jared and Valerie took Brinley & Colbie (Trent's daughters) with them and Tucker also tagged along.  Dustin decided to take his kids to the ranch at the last minute, Kerri rode up for the evening but had to be to work by midnight so left early and came back the next afternoon for lunch.  We had a lot of plans for the next morning.  We wanted to re stack the wood pile from around the fire pit and move it so we could actually sit all the way around the current fire pit and get the wood off the ground so it wouldn't keep rotting.  We also needed to fix a fence which was cut open by someone who let their cattle into our fields to eat the hay and then lastly we wanted to keep working on the new West fence putting in more dancers.

During the evening it rained a little but the temperature was very nice and it was no longer raining when we got up around 7:00.  Tucker and Dustin quickly got started on moving the fire wood.  We took some long logs and put them parallel to each other and then we stacked the wood on the too planks.  This way the wood will stay off of the ground.  Hopefully it will stay upright and if anyone else cuts any wood then please stack it on the remaining space there.  If you use any of the wood on the existing stack then please either cut wood to replace it or pull out old fallen logs and put them close to the wood stack so someone with a chainsaw can cut it into burnable logs.
Since there was rain the previous night Jared wanted to flatten out the area where he always parks his trailer, this way we would not have to fight with the dust.  We kind of got caught up in the project and flattened out the entire area and then we made an executive decision to build a retaining wall to keep any of the dirt from falling or washing down to the newly improved area.  We also made steps going up to the area behind the trailer pad.  We have one portion we still need to finish but we should get it done pretty quick.  We put down a railroad tie and then nailed in 2 pine poles.  We then pushed the dirt down behind the wall and it seems to be hold up pretty well.  We added some support in front by planting some small posts to help hold up the whole wall.  Here are a couple of pics of that fun project we completed.

At lunch Brenda and Rhonda brought their families up to the ranch with Grandma & Grandpa.  It was a lot of fun to have everyone up there.  A bunch of them went on a hike up to the spring above the ranch.  Valerie mowed the alfalfa field and made it look a lot better and got rid of the thistle up in that field.  Tucker and Dustin also fixed the fence that had been cut with the help of Grandpa, Grant (Brenda's son), and Toby (Dustin's son).  Overall, it was a fantastic Labor day which I hope we can improve and build upon it next year.